Sesame Scallops with Pistachio Brown Rice

My Mom and I tried this recipe tonight for dinner and we liked it.  If you are in the mood for a light and healthy meal, this is it.  A very tasty vinaigrette and well seared scallops(not steamed because the heat is not high enough) are keys to this meal.  We made a vinaigrette with soy sauce, lime juice and honey(or agave syrup) but you could make a lime juice, jalapeno and honey vinaigrette with no soy sauce or substitute the lime juice with orange or lemon juice. Even a nice balsamic vinaigrette would work. The brown rice and scallops are served on top of hearts of romaine, which are crunchy and sweet, you need a sturdy lettuce for this meal.  Butter lettuce doesn’t have enough flavor and baby greens or mesclun are too soft, I think, but it’s up to you.  I think you could replace the brown rice with quinoa, couscous, wild rice or even wheat berries.  You could also garnish with green onion, even mandarin orange wedges would be nice.

Prep time:  30 minutes(includes cooking of rice)

Cooking time:  4-6 minutes for cooking the scallops

Serves: 4

Why this meal is good for you:

Scallops are low in calories and rich in micro nutrients, such as vitamin B12, which helps burn carbs and fats.

Brown rice is high in fiber and helps lower the risk of type 2 diabetics.  It’s also a great source of vitamin B6, which is a natural mood booster.

Pistachios are an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids, a good fat that helps reduce the risk of heart disease.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup raw brown rice

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon agave syrup or honey

2 teaspoons sesame oil( you don’t have to use sesame oil, some people find it too strong, just use whatever oil you like to use in dressings-olive oil or grapeseed are a few choices)

1 chopped red pepper

1/3 cup chopped pistachios

2 teaspoons of toasted sesame seeds

12 large sea scallops

salt and pepper for seasoning

2 tbsp grapeseed oil

2 cups packed romaine lettuce or radicchio

Directions:

1.  Cook 3/4 cup brown rice according to package directions, omitting salt. Make the vinaigrette by whisking the lime juice, soy sauce, honey or agave syrup and sesame oil in a large bowl. When rice is cooked, let cool slightly, about 5 min. Stir rice along with 1 chopped red pepper into vinaigrette until combined. Stir in 1/3 cup chopped pistachios.

2.  Toast sesame seeds in a large saute pan over medium-low until seeds are golden brown.  Watch the sesame seeds closely, once they start browning, they brown quickly and you do not want to burn them. Transfer to a bowl. Pat 12 large sea scallops dry with paper towels, then lightly season with salt and pepper. Heat same saute pan over medium-high. Add 2 tbsp grapeseed oil, then scallops. Cook until dark golden, about 2-3 minutes per side.

3.  Arrange 2 cups packed baby romaine or radicchio on 4 plates. Top with brown rice mixture and scallops, then sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

  • Shopping Tip:

    Fresh scallops should be pale beige to creamy pink, with a clean, fresh smell and a moist sheen. Refrigerate scallops immediately after purchase. They are best cooked or consumed within one day. If using frozen scallops, let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

  • How To Sear Scallops:

    To get scallops looking and tasting golden and restaurant-worthy, start by patting them very dry with paper towels. Make sure the frying pan is nice and hot, then add the oil. Carefully add scallops. Cook without touching or turning them, 2 min, then flip and cook another 2 min.


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